PhD study in the School of Law

The School of Law is respected locally, regionally and internationally for its robust and impactful legal, socio-legal and criminological research.

LAW Bartolome House

Research in the School of Law

Our research is oriented around three research centres:

Within these research centres academic staff carry out a wide range of research using a variety of legal and empirical research methods, including a range of innovative qualitative and quantitative methods. Each Centre has its own postgraduate representative who provides a key link between the centres and the wider postgraduate research (PGR) community.

Staff from across the School regularly write highly rated academic publications and reports, as well as participating in University, local, regional and international seminars, workshops and conferences. Not only does this research inform their teaching, it is also disseminated widely and in accessible ways to practitioners, policy makers and the wider public, ensuring that this research has a range of impacts on society beyond the University. We have a strong track record of informing policy processes through our research and advisory work for government departments, public agencies and regional, national and international bodies. 

The School of Law offers outstanding supervision to a diverse and international range of students, completing innovative and groundbreaking research on an impressively wide array of topics. The research training and other forms of support on offer, including wellbeing support, are also an established and vital part of the PhD experience in the School."

Dr Maria Tzanou

Director of Postgraduate Research

An international research environment 

Students come from all over the world to pursue postgraduate research in the School of Law. We also have an international and diverse mix of staff in the School which provides a rich learning experience for all students.

Many of our doctoral students undertake research in international contexts and make visits overseas to conduct research, participate in PhD workshops and attend conferences.

The department also has close links with a number of universities internationally, and the exchange of ideas within the School of Law has long been enriched by the presence of visiting scholars from around the world.


The School of Law PhD students have access to a designated PGR Room which was last refurbished in August 2022. The room offers a range of spaces in which to work, including desks, sofas, meeting tables and bookable private pods (e.g. if you need to attend online meetings)

Dedicated space for PhD students

The department is situated close to the central services of the University including the Information Commons, the Western Bank Library and to the Students' Union building.

 Western Bank

The Postgraduate Research community

The School has a vibrant community of PGR students who are fully integrated into the life of the wider School through a range of activities that continue throughout the academic year. This includes bespoke regular training sessions in both semesters (as part of the in-discipline training on offer in the School), presentations of research in progress, public research seminars, conferences and other events hosted by the research centres, internal all school research seminars, as well as PGR-led events and networks including conferences, writing retreats, and reading groups, which are supported and encouraged by the School. 

PhD students are also represented by ‘PGR Reps’ on relevant committees in the School, such as the Higher Degree Committee and sub-groups of the Learning and Teaching Committee which consider the role of Graduate Teaching Assistants.

PhD students’ involvement in these activities is strongly encouraged. It enhances their professional development, and maintains an ethos of collegiality and of mutual support that is at the heart of the School’s success.

Image of Lana Ghuneim

My advice to anyone wishing to undertake a PhD in the Law School

Lana Ghuneim School of law

Lana is a current ESRC White Rose funded PhD student here in the School of Law, who has really valued the support she's received throughout her studies.

The Postgraduate Research (PGR) Team

The PGR Team is comprised of:

  • Director of Postgraduate Research -  Dr Maria Tzanou
  • Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research (and PGR admissions tutor) - Dr Richard Craven
  • Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research (wellbeing and Confirmation Reviews) - Professor Tsachi Keren-Paz

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